I was born in Communist Poland at the height of the Cold War, where I lived with my mother until I was 6 years old. One of my earliest memories is of my mom paying off a corrupt official to get the passports that would allow us to come to America. As young as I was, I understood I was living in a place where some people had all the power and could do whatever they pleased to people who had none. That’s a feeling I’ve never forgotten.
I grew up in Central Jersey, going to public schools, playing baseball and hockey, and hoping that someday I could give something back to the country that gave me my freedom. As a kid, I was inspired by my dad, a journalist and champion of progressive causes, and my aunt, Anne Martindell, a breaker of glass ceilings who served parts of Hunterdon and Morris Counties in the New Jersey Senate. Public service was expected in my family and the path I’ve been privileged to pursue.
I had the chance to serve President Clinton on his National Security Council working to end some of the 20th Century’s bloodiest humanitarian crises. As the chief advocate for Human Rights Watch, I led a bipartisan effort to end the Bush Administration’s use of torture. Most recently, as an Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor under President Obama, I helped lead our global fight to defend the human rights of women and LGBTQ people, to protect workers in our trade agreements, to safeguard our privacy on the internet, to root out corruption, and to stand up to dictators like Putin and Kim Jong-Un
I’m running for Congress because everything I’ve worked for on behalf of our country is now under attack by our own President and his Republican enablers. Trump may have won an election; I don’t want him to win the argument about who we are as a nation.
We have so much work to do: repeal and replace the Republican tax bill that is so harmful to our district, fight for affordable healthcare, protect our environment, invest in our infrastructure, advance women’s rights, and defend our democracy at home. I want to make sure that the people of the 7th District are heard and I am committed to listening; in town halls, in the grocery store... this district deserves a Congressman that answers to them.